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CAT 2023: Mark Your Calendar and Master the Paper

Circle November 26 on your calendar – the date for CAT 2023, the gateway to esteemed MBA institutions. But before that, ensure you complete the registration process by September 13, 2023. You can register and apply at CAT official website This is your chance to unlock a world of opportunities, and we're here to guide you through the entire process.

Latest Updates
  • CAT 2023 Registration Dates: August 2 to September 13, 2023

  • CAT 2023 Exam Date: November 26, 2023 in three slots

  • CAT Exam Cities: CAT 2023 will be conducted in around 155 cities.

  • Choice of CAT Cities: Candidates can choose six CAT exam cities

  • CAT Exam Duration: 2 Hours for Each Slot



What is CAT Exam? Unveiling the Gateway to Top MBA Programs

The Common Admission Test (CAT) stands as the gateway to MBA admission 2024 in premier institutions like the 20 IIMs, FMS Delhi, SPJIMR Mumbai, MDI Gurgaon, IIT Bombay, IIT Delhi, IIT Kharagpur, NITIE Mumbai, and numerous other esteemed B-schools across India. Catering to the aspirations of over two lakh candidates annually, CAT is the preferred avenue to explore MBA program opportunities. Here are the key highlights:

  • A Computer-Based Examination: CAT is conducted digitally across 150 test cities and 300 test venues nationwide, ensuring accessibility and convenience.

  • Streamlined Exam Duration: Since 2020, the exam duration has been optimized to two hours from its previous three-hour format, enhancing efficiency.

  • Three Distinct Sections: The exam encompasses three sections—Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension, Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning, and Quantitative Ability—each demanding focused expertise.

  • Sectional Time Limits: Each section is allocated a fixed individual time limit, challenging candidates to showcase their proficiency within stipulated intervals.

  • Exclusive Evaluation: IIMs exclusively consider CAT 2023 scores for admissions, underscoring its significance as a definitive parameter for selection.


Key Exam Features & Highlights

Following are the key features of IIM CAT exam like CAT Full Form, Notification, exam dates, Eligibility, Exam Structure among other details

CAT Exam Full Form
Common Admission Test,conducted on yearly basis for MBA admission by one of the 6 older IIMs�
Exam Date 2023
CAT Entrance exam sessions
To be Conducted in 3 sessions Morning, Afternoon & Evening on same day
CAT 2023 Conducting IIM
IIM Lucknow. IIMs are the CAT-conducting Institutes
Entrance Exam Mode
Computer-based exam but not an online exam
When to Check for CAT 2023 Notification
From July 30, 2023 onwards, at and in Newspapers
Details in CAT Notification 2023
CAT Exam details, Application fee, Registration dates, IIMs & their management programmes through CAT
Maximum Age Limit to appear in the Exam
No Age Limit, Graduates with 50% marks can apply
Number of Questions in Exam
66 questions divided in 3 sections
Exam Time Duration
2 hours for each Slot
Sectional Time limit
40 minutes for 1 section
Name of sections and number of questions
VARC-24 Questions; DILR-20 questions; Quant-22 questions
Expected Difficulty level
Moderate to Difficult
Order of Sections
Pre-fixed, no change allowed
Colleges Accepting CAT 2023 for MBA admission 2023
20 IIMs, FMS, MDI, SPJIMR, IITs, IMI, IMT& 500 other MBA colleges in India
CAT Exam Fees 2023
How to Register and Apply
Application process is online only
CAT 2023 Official Website for Form Filling
IIMs Application Fee
No Separate Application Fee to apply for IIM. Registration Fee covers application fee of all 20 IIMs


CAT Eligibility Criteria 2023: Paving the Path to Excellence

The CAT Eligibility Criteria 2023 holds the key to unlocking your entry into the esteemed MBA programs. Here's a quick rundown of the vital prerequisites:

  • Minimum 50% Graduation Marks: Aspiring candidates with a minimum of 50% marks in their graduation, regardless of the discipline, are eligible to appear for the exam.

  • Final Year Students Eligible: Even final year students in the process of completing their graduation can partake in the CAT 2023 journey.

  • Age No Barrier: Age is not a determining factor; individuals of all age groups are welcome to apply.

Navigating the CAT 2023 Registration Process

Embarking on your CAT 2023 journey involves a meticulous registration process that demands your attention. Here's what you need to know:

  • Opening Registration Date: The CAT registration window unlocks subsequent to the release of the CAT notification.

  • Registration Period: Mark your calendars for August 2 to September 13, 2023—a crucial window to ensure your participation.

  • Seamless Online Process: The entire registration process is conducted online, accessible through the official CAT website.

  • Filling the Form: Craft your registration form with precision, adhering to the guidelines on the official portal.

  • Exam Fee: General candidates are required to pay an exam fee of Rs. 2400, payable exclusively through online channels.

Key Changes in CAT Registration 2023
  • Dual OTP Verification for Registration: To enhance security, CAT 2023 introduces dual OTP verification, ensuring a robust and protected registration process.

  • Optimal Photo Upload Size: The photo upload process is now even more user-friendly, with a prescribed size of 1200x1200 pixels, ensuring clarity and accuracy.

  • Manual Academic Percentage Calculation: A novel feature that empowers candidates to personally calculate their academic percentages, fostering a deeper connection with your application.

  • Delhi NCR Cities Grouped: To facilitate a clearer selection process, Delhi NCR cities are now thoughtfully clubbed, streamlining the registration experience for candidates from this region.


Unlocking the CAT Exam Pattern 2023: What You Need to Know

In the journey of CAT exam evolution, the pattern has undergone refinements, and the CAT Exam Pattern 2023 maintains its trajectory towards innovation and precision. Here are the vital aspects of this year's CAT exam structure:

  • Efficient 2-Hour Exam: The CAT exam retains its 2-hour duration, delivering a focused and efficient testing experience. While computer-delivered, it is not an online exam, ensuring stability and security.

  • 66 Thought-Provoking Questions: This year's CAT exam continues the trend of 66 questions, distributed across three distinct sections: Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC), Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR), and Quantitative Ability.

  • Balanced Question Types: Approximately 18 or more questions are designed without negative marking, balancing the MCQ (Multiple Choice Questions) and Non-MCQ (Non-Multiple Choice Questions) formats. The latter doesn't entail negative marking. Notably, any exceptions are offset by transforming a few MCQs into no-negative-marking questions.

  • Strategic Negative Marking: More than 48 MCQ-type questions bear the weight of negative marking, deducting 1/3 of the points for incorrect answers, emphasizing strategic precision in answering.

  • Cut off Requirement by IIMs: IIMs have instituted minimum qualifying scores ranging from 70 to 90 percentile in each of the three sections, serving as a threshold for shortlisting candidates for the final admission round.

  • Unlocking Possibilities with IIM Shortlisting: Beyond high scores, IIMs prioritize candidates with a diverse academic profile and work experience, enhancing your chances of securing a coveted spot in their hallowed halls.

CAT Exam Pattern 2023: Decoding the Revised Question Paper Structure

For aspirants embarking on the CAT journey, a comprehensive understanding of the revised CAT Exam Pattern 2023 is essential. Here's a detailed breakdown of the sectional order, question types, and marking scheme for each section in the 2-hour examination:

Exam components
MCQs (With negative marking)
Non-MCQs (TITA Qs Without negative marking)
Total Questions
Section-1: Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC) (Time limit: 40 Minutes)
Section-2: Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR) (Time Limit: 40 Minutes)
Section-3: Quantitative Ability (QA) (Time Limit: 40 Minutes)
Total (Overall) (Time limit: 120 Minutes)


CAT Exam Syllabus: Overall and Section wise syllabus

Although the exam Syllabus is not pre-defined by IIMs, it overall tests the candidate on Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension; Quantitative Aptitude; Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning. During the last 5 years, the CAT exam syllabus has substantially changed. Major changes in Syllabus 2023 are:

  • The Syllabus is changed and contains different type of questions with a combination of MCQs & Non-MCQs.

  • 25-30% Questions are no penalty questions now

  • Most of the changes in syllabus have taken place in the Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension Section as the share of Reading Comprehension based questions has increased as compared to Verbal Ability questions

  • A few changes in syllabus have been introduced in Quantitative Ability section with more focus on Arithmetic questions

CAT Syllabus Section-Wise
Sectional Division
Overview of Topics in the Syllabus 2023
Weightage in exam
Quantitative Ability (QA)
Arithmetic, Modern Math, Number System, Algebra, Mensuration, Trigonometry, Geometry
Data Interpretation& Logical Reasoning (DILR)
Data Charts, Data Tables, Bar Graphs, Venn Diagrams, Seating arrangement, Team formation, Clocks & Calendars
Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC)
Long & Short Passages, Jumbled Paragraphs; Para-summary, Picking the Out of context sentence from a jumbled paragraph


Mastering CAT Preparation: A Comprehensive Guide

Embarking on your CAT preparation journey requires more than just hard work; it demands a strategic and smart approach. By dedicating a few months to focused preparation, you can unlock the doors to success. Whether you choose self-study or opt for coaching, remember that a holistic approach is key to excelling in CAT 2023. Here's how to craft an effective preparation strategy:

  • Establish Strong Basics:

    • Develop a clear understanding of fundamental concepts.

    • Strengthen weak areas while reinforcing strong ones.

  • Consistent Revision and Practice:

    • Regularly revise and revisit core concepts.

    • Engage in extensive practice with mock tests, quizzes, and practice tests.

  • Organized Syllabus Approach:

    • Create a syllabus checklist and prioritize topics for improvement.

    • Systematically work through each topic, ensuring comprehensive coverage.

  • Form a Study Group:

    • Collaborate with peers through social media for mutual learning and motivation.

    • Consult best preparation books and attempt their practice questions.

  • Focus Areas for Each Section:

    • Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC):

      • Focus on Reading Comprehension with its predominant share. Questions on RC passages in CAT constitute 70% share and Verbal questions are 30%. 

      • Enhance verbal skills for better performance in Verbal Ability questions.

    • Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR):

      • Practice regularly to excel in this crucial section.

      • Strengthen analytical and reasoning skills for both DI and LR questions.

      • Logical Reasoning constitutes 50% share in the newly created Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation Comprehension (DILR) Section 

    • Quantitative Ability (QA):

      • Develop a three-dimensional approach: conceptual clarity, diverse problem-solving, and mock practice.

      • Master topics like Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, and Modern Math.

      • Practise on variety of questions of different difficulty level

Sectional Breakdown of VARC, DILR, Quant
Total MCQs (With negative marking)
Total Non-MCQs (Without negative marking)
Total Questions
Key Sectional Highlights
4-5 RC Passages with 16 to 18 MCQs; VA 6-8 MCQs and Non MCQs divided into Para jumbles, Para Summary, and Out of Context Sentences
Total MCQs (With negative marking)
Total Non-MCQs (Without negative marking)
Total Questions
Key Sectional Highlights
LR 10 Ques, DI 10 Ques, All in Sets of 4-5 Ques
Total MCQs (With negative marking)
Total Non-MCQs (Without negative marking)
Total Questions
Key Sectional Highlights
High on Arithmetic. Other on Log, Geometry, Roots, Algebra�
Recommended Books for CAT Preparation:
  • "How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for CAT" by Arun Sharma & Meenakshi Upadhyay

  • "Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT" by Nishit K Sinha

  • "Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension" by Ajay Singh

  • "Word Power Made Easy" by Norman Lewis

  • "How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for CAT" by Arun Sharma

  • "How to Prepare for Logical Reasoning for CAT" by Arun Sharma

  • "Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for the CAT" by Nishit K. Sinha

  • "CAT Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning" by Gautam Puri

  • "How to prepare for Quantitative for the CAT" by Arun Sharma

  • "Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT" by Nishit K Sinha

  • "Quantitative Aptitude Quantum CAT" by Sarvesh K Verma


Strategic CAT 2023 Preparation Plan: A Roadmap to Success

Embarking on your journey to crack CAT 2023 requires a well-structured plan that optimizes your time, learning, and practice. Here's a comprehensive month-wise roadmap to guide you through the upcoming months:

  • First 90 Days: Laying the Foundation

    • Immerse yourself in understanding the core concepts of CAT's Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC), Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR), and Quantitative Ability (QA) sections.

    • Allocate substantial time to grasp the nuances of each concept, ensuring clarity.

    • Regularly take tests and quizzes to gauge your progress and identify weak points.

    • Utilize this time to enroll in coaching if desired, supplementing your self-study with expert guidance.

  • Next 60 Days: Crafting Your Strategy

    • With a strong foundation, shift your focus to strategy development.

    • Engage in taking full-length mocks and sectional tests to enhance your time management and accuracy.

    • Analyze your performance, identifying areas demanding further improvement.

    • Fine-tune your approach based on these analyses, focusing on refining your strong points and addressing weaknesses.

  • Last 30 Days: The Final Push

    • As you approach the finish line, channel your energy towards rigorous revision.

    • Create concise notes that encapsulate key formulas, strategies, and important points.

    • Prioritize taking mock tests under simulated exam conditions to enhance your test-taking stamina.

    • Develop a final strategy that aligns with your strengths and allows you to navigate the exam confidently.


Remember, a holistic approach to CAT preparation involves not just mastering concepts but also enhancing your test-taking strategy, time management, and psychological preparedness. Dedicate your effort, stay consistent, and keep adapting your plan based on your progress. With 3600 hours at your disposal, allocate them judiciously and witness your progress unfold steadily. Your CAT success story is a journey, and this plan is your compass to guide you toward your destination.

Month-wise Preparation Plan for Each CAT Section: A Comprehensive Roadmap
Algebra Numbers
G&M, others, Revision of Arithmetic
Revision of Algebra, Nos
All Revision
Tables, Bars, Caselets, Pie, Charts, Line Speed Math
Spider, Scatter, Missing Numbers, Caselets
Arrangements, Distribution
G&T, VennD, Selection, Networks
Other Puzzles, Caselets, Cubes Revision


CAT Important Dates

Following are the important dates for CAT exam 2023

Time Line
Important Dates
CAT Notification 2023 Date
CAT exam 2023 Registration Date
Last Date for CAT exam 2023 Registration
September 13, 2023
CAT Exam Fees for Registration & Application
CAT 2023 Official Website for Exam Registration
Admit card Download Start date
Last Date for Admit Card Download
CAT Exam date 2023
CAT 2023 Result date
CAT 2023 Admit Card, Result, and IIMs' Admission Process

As you gear up for CAT 2023, it's important to stay informed about key dates, processes, and the post-exam phase. Here's a rundown of what to expect:

  • CAT 2023 Admit Card:

    • Admit card download begins from October 25, 2023.

    • IIMs will upload the admit card on the official exam website.

    • The last date to download the admit card is the exam date.

    • Follow these steps to download the admit card:

      • Log on to the official website.

      • Enter your login ID and password.

      • Click on the 'Admit Card' section.

      • Download the admit card and take a printout.

  • CAT Exam 2023 Result & IIMs' Admission Process:

    • The official result declaration date is the 2nd week of January 2024, but IIMs may release it earlier.

    • Previous years have seen early result releases, such as December 21, 2022.

    • The result might be out on January 4, 2024, or even earlier.

    • Immediately after the result, IIMs will announce shortlists based on scores and other criteria.

    • Final admission offers from IIMs will be made in April/May 2024.

  • IIMs' Admission Process:

    • IIMs' admission process comprises three stages:

      • Stage-1: Performance in CAT Exam

      • Stage-2: Shortlisting for PI Round

      • Stage-3: Final Selection Process (WAT & PI Round)

  • Key Highlights:

    • Your performance in CAT, academic record, and Personal Interview round influence your final admission offer.

    • Older IIMs conduct individual selection processes.

    • New and baby IIMs use the Common Admission Process (CAP) for admission.

    • The selection process is a blend of multiple criteria and rounds to assess candidates comprehensively.


As you navigate through these stages, remember that each one contributes to your overall candidacy and plays a crucial role in securing your coveted spot in one of India's premier management institutes. Stay focused, stay informed, and approach each step with dedication and determination.


IIMs' Admission Process: A Blend of Individuality and Commonality

When it comes to securing a seat in one of India's esteemed IIMs, the admission process showcases a mix of individuality and commonality. Here's a closer look at the diversity within IIMs' selection procedures:

  • Top IIMs' Individual Admission Process:

    • IIM Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Calcutta, Lucknow, Indore, Kozhikode, and Shillong each have their own unique admission process.

    • These esteemed institutions prioritize a holistic evaluation, considering not just CAT scores but also factors like academic achievements, diversity, and work experience.

    • The multifaceted approach ensures that candidates are evaluated comprehensively, reflecting the institutes' commitment to a diverse and well-rounded student body.

  • Common Admission Process (CAP) for 9 IIMs:

    • A cluster of newer IIMs, namely Kashipur, Raipur, Ranchi, Trichy, Udaipur, Bodhgaya, Sambalpur, Sirmaur, and Jammu, collaborate to conduct a Common Admission Process (CAP).

    • CAP streamlines the selection procedure, organizing a common Written Ability Test (WAT) and Personal Interview (PI) round.

    • This unified approach simplifies the process for candidates applying to multiple new IIMs.

  • Individual Process for IIM Nagpur, IIM Rohtak, IIM Visakhapatnam:

    • IIM Nagpur, IIM Rohtak, and IIM Visakhapatnam opt for their own individual selection processes, distinct from CAP.

    • These IIMs assess candidates based on CAT scores, academic achievements, work experience, and gender diversity.

    • The merit lists reflect the weighting assigned to each factor, ensuring a fair and holistic evaluation.


The diverse nature of IIMs' admission processes reflects the institutes' commitment to assessing candidates' potential from multiple angles. So, whether you're aiming for a top IIM or a newer one, the selection process aligns with their unique ethos while ensuring fairness and transparency.


“Sometimes during the two-year curriculum, every MBA student ought to hear it clearly stated that numbers, techniques, and analysis are all side matters. What is central to business is the joy of creating.”

– Peter Robinson

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